As REALTORS®, we show Buyers many homes in a given day/week/month/year. When we do so, we are in a private home, with the owners’ personal possessions, and most of the time, they are not at home during a showing – so that the potential buyer can get a good look and feel for the home. It is not easy holding your home open to strangers, whether it be for a showing or for an open house.
Often, Buyers will pull out their phone during a showing and will want to video or photograph the home to remember features or to show friends and family. While technology has made this uber-easy to do nowadays, we need to be conscious of the Seller’s home and boundaries.
Whenever we show a property, we ask for permission before photographs or video are taken. Why you might ask? There is any number of good reasons that a Seller might baulk at such a request, such as:
- They left in a hurry, and perhaps the home isn’t in tip-top showing condition
- They have photos of their children or other family members in full view
- There are valuables in noticeable locations
- There are alarms in certain areas of the home that they don’t want shown to other people
- Perhaps there are items they’d prefer not to be seen by the public in their home.
Often Buyers think, well, they have photos on the listing – so why can’t we take more photos – what difference would it make? The answer to that is, on photo day for the listing, the Seller has control over what is left out before the photos are taken. After the photos are taken, we as their sales professionals go-over the photos and check for any concerning items in the photos, as does the photographer and the Seller.
Recently, the Registrar for RECO (the Real Estate Council of Ontario) wrote this in his Blog which appears in the Toronto Star:
There are a few things you should consider when taking photos in someone’s home.
- A simple rule is to ask before you click. Always ask prior to taking photos or video inside a listed home.
- Avoid capturing personal or confidential information about the homeowners; this includes such things as portraits, certificates on display or identifying artwork.
- Do not take photos or video of contents within cupboards and drawers. This also goes for any personal property.
- Remember you are in someone’s home, so be sure to respect their property – and their privacy.
He also added:
It is important to remember that when potential buyers are permitted to take photos, they are intended for personal reference only. Photo permission does not imply permission to share images publicly, online or otherwise.
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg